The Excellence Of Clay And Terracotta Art In India

Terracotta art and sculptures in India dates back to almost 5000 years, suggests archaeological surveys and findings.

Sculptures and utilitarian structures created from earthenware which were sundried and then placed in kilns to be burnt is referred to as terracotta forms of art. Not just figures and sculptures but there is historic evidence that terracotta art was used in buildings and monuments as well. 

The major step in making Pottery involves collecting the proper quality refined clay, to achieve  desired shape of the figures. After they are sun dried, the clay is placed over a combustible source or in a kiln and then burnt to make it rigid and resistant. 

The temperature of the fire is carefully controlled and is not more than 1,000 °C. It is during this process, the iron reacts with oxygen which gives the figures a charred burnt brick or a reddish tone. The overall colors generally vary within different shades of yellow, orange, pink, red, buff, grey and brown. Fired terracotta is generally not watertight,however the process of burning the surfaces before firing reduces chances of them being porous, while a layer of glaze will make it watertight. 

The potters here make use of two kinds of muds, black and red muds, mixed together to make the final products and figures. The process of burning at high temperatures is the key factor in terracotta pottery. A wide range of finished products and figures are created by the artisans, they are colored according to the mentioned customizations of customers along with natural terracotta products. Lamps, pots, musical instruments, flower vases, horses, idols, plates, elephants, etc. are some of the demanded figures created by the artisans. 

In Andhra Pradesh, the District of Chittor is widely known for its attractive Terracotta Pottery. The ‘Terracotta Crafts Centre’ located on the national highway has been a hub of Terracotta pottery in Andhra Pradesh for more than a decade.